• Kipyegon won the 1,500m race at the World Championships in Oregon (3:52.96) in June and won the women's 1,500m Diamond League Trophy.
•He said Kipyegon has represented the country well and recorded exemplary performances and thus deserves recognition
Head coach Julius Kirwa feels Kenya's failure to make the final list for Women’s World Athlete of the Year is unfair.
Kirwa said two-time world 1500m champion, Faith Kipyegon, who was in the preliminary list of 10, deserves to make the final list if not win the award.
"Kipyegon has achieved a lot of honours in the athletics circles and her failure to make the top five list is the least we expected as a country," he noted.
He said the latest move is a blow to her morale and that of the upcoming athletes who look up to her. "There are so many people who wish to get to her level and such happenings may lower their spirits."
Kipyegon won the 1,500m race at the World Championships in Oregon (3:52.96) in June and won the women's 1,500m Diamond League Trophy.
She also ran a world-leading time and Kenyan record of 3:50.37 (just three seconds off the world record) at the Monaco Diamond League Meeting in August and won the Prefontaine Classic in Oregon in 3:53.23 (August).
Athletes selected in the final list of five are—Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan (World 100m-H champion), Jamaica’s Shelly-Anne Fraser-Pryce (World 100m champion), Peru’s Kimberly Garcia (World 20km race walk champion), USA’s Sydney McLaughlin (World 400m hurdles) and Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas (world 4x400m champion and world indoor triple jump champion).
He said Kipyegon has represented the country well and recorded exemplary performances and thus deserves recognition. “As far as I know, Kipyegon deserves a place in the top five. Her performance has been exemplary and the awards can never be complete without her name," he added.
He said: "I do not know the criteria used but I strongly believe Kipyegon would have made the cut. I firmly believe that good performance goes hand in hand with recognition."